Mortgage lending ‘up in December’

The total amount of UK mortgage lending was up in December, according to new figures.

Data from the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) showed that there was an increase in lending of £3.5 billion, compared with £3.4 billion in November and an average for the previous six months of £2.9 billion.

The BBA attributed the monthly figure partly to the rush of applications aimed at beating the December 31st stamp duty deadline, after which the tax was reimposed on properties valued between £125,000 and £175,000.

Overall, banks took on more of the burden of lending during 2009, BBA director of statistics David Dooks noted.

He said: “Their share of gross lending went up from a historical level of about two-thirds to three-quarters, due to specialist lenders largely withdrawing from the market and building society finance contracting.”

The rise tallies with the increase in the month recorded by the Council of Mortgage Lenders last week, which also stated that the stamp duty deadline had an effect on December purchasing levels.

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